Shortly after the release of This is Lean, companies and organizations started to use the book as a tool for developing a common understanding. Top-management teams read the book and used it as a base for discussion when evaluating if lean was something that they wanted to implement. Some companies distributed the book to all managers within the whole organisation making it compulsory reading with the message “this should be our view of what lean is”. Other companies took the spread of the book even further and let 100% of their employees read the book. For instance, the largest university hospital in Sweden, Karolinska University Hospital, let over 17 400 employees read book.
It was during this spread that the idea of a integration program was born.
As This is Lean was increasingly used as a tool for building a common mindset within organizations, the question of how to best spread knowledge arose. How does a company enable its employees to not only read the book, but to really understand the content of the book to the extent that it could be applied to the specific context and situation of the company? As experienced lecturers and academics, Niklas Modig and Pär Åhlström emphasized the importance of integrated learning to maximizing the absorption of the content of the book. Modig and Åhlström believed that by creating a platform for structured discussion and application of the book’s content, a higher level of competence could be reached. As a result, the Lean Integration Program was created and launched.
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